Sunday, January 17, 2016

Say It Ain't So

Here it is. Three unrelated photos from this past week that could all share the same caption.

We took much too long of a break from any sort of exercise the last six months. Moving and renovating was exercise enough but apparently not good at building endurance as I lasted all of 20 reps on a pilates move the other day. Finally last week we reinstated our beloved family walks.  They are simple. We walk around our neighborhood. Sometimes the kids play games with sticks as we go and almost always Levi asks to be carried at some point. Once we find our rhythm again and exercise becomes a regular occurance maybe I won't quit and shut the whole video off like I did last week when the instructor said, "let's make it to 100."

She loves to eat and her seven teeth serve her well. This past week I gave her some raisins and in an instant she had them shoved into her mouth by the fistful and had apparently swallowed them whole. "All done," I told her. "You have to chew." The look of utter sadness combined with that belly made me laugh hard. Despite the cuteness I held my ground. Gotta learn to chew next time, Bear Bear!

Finally, on a very serious note, I still can't believe the news I got last week.

She sat in my kitchen a month ago eating sandwiches, talking about her grandchildren and, as always, encouraging my faith. Usually at our meetings she'd bring a book to challenge me or some printed article. But, in a blink, right after Christmas, she got incredibly sick and in a matter of days passed away unexpectedly. I didn't know anything until my neighbor called to tell me. 

Years ago when I was a college student this dear mentor showed incredible concern when I got sick in the library where she worked. That established our relationship and she'd been caring for me from both near and far for over ten years. I still remember us whispering in the library about some great secrets we had discovered spiritually and the encouragement that I could tell was becoming mutual from our visits. The very last book she gave me from her personal library was Appointments with Heaven. I can almost hear her saying as she's now experiencing the very place, "Oh, Kelley, it's wonderful!"

Her passing challenges me to be more intentional in how I invest in others. To make time to see someone or send a letter or take a gift. To pray fervently for others. To still get giddy when I talk about God at work. To be more diligent with exercise. And, to eat Hershey's candy cane kisses (one of her favorites and the gift she brought me our last visit together) in her memory every Christmas! Mrs. Crawford will be deeply missed because she deeply loved. I was one of the  blessed recipients.

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